Media observe FOI Day, conduct vigil on media killings
The passage of the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill has yet to see the light of day in the current administration. The media community has not ceased urging President Aquino to make it a law.
In the observance of the FOI Day on August 15, various media organizations and media practitioners once again prompt the government to prioritize its passage. The public is also asked to join in the nationwide call as media outlets and journalists publish the pooled editorial in newspapers, online, and social media demanding: “With time fast running out on the 15th Congress, the long wait for the FOI Act should be over yesterday. The time for decision is now.”
“Citizens need and must know how public officials exercise their powers and authorities, how they spend public funds, what contracts and agreements they sign and seal on our behalf, what policy issues bother them that must also bother us so we may participate in making decisions,” the editorial says.
The joint position also demands political will on the part of Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. to lead their respective institutions in immediately enacting the FOI law.
In the same token, on August 19, Sunday, the media will also conduct a vigil at Bantayog ng mga Bayani (Heroes Monument) in the corner of EDSA and Quezon Avenue in Quezon City, to seek justice for the victims and their still-grieving families of the infamous Ampatuan Massacre.
The ‘prayerful gathering’ of media practitioners and news organizations is another urgent call for action to the resolution on the massacre and heighten consciousness for various sectors to also keep constant vigilance on the ongoing trial.
The unsolved cases of mass murders will turn three years old in November of this year.
The Philippine Press Institute, also known as the national association of newspapers, joins in the nationwide call for the government to address urgently these two pressing issues.